List of most expensive sculptures
This is a list of the highest known prices paid for sculptures.
Most valuable sculpture
Giacometti's L'Homme qui marche I had previously achieved the highest price of any sculpture when it was auctioned by Sotheby's in February 2010. Selling for US$104.3 million, it ranks amongst the most valuable works of art.
In 2005, Constantin Brâncuși's Bird in Space broke records when it sold for $27.5 million, the previous world record was another work by Constantin Brâncuși called Danaide, which was sold for $18.1m in May 2002. The 2005 record stood for two years until a highly regarded work of antiquity surpassed the price. Artemis and the Stag, found in the 1920s at a Roman construction site, fetched $28.6 million in June 2007. The record would only stand for a few months, with a work by Pablo Picasso, Tete de femme (Dora Maar), surpassing it by half a million US dollars in November 2007.
In December 2007, the sale of the Guennol Lioness, a statue from around 3000 BC, nearly doubled the previous record price when it sold for $57.2 million. It is the fifth-most valuable sculpture to date (2018) and the most valuable piece from antiquity.
Damien Hirst has claimed that his sculpture For the Love of God, which consists of a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, was sold for £50 million (around US$75 million) in August 2007. The truth of this private sale, which was to an unknown consortium, has been called into question. David Lee, editor of The Jackdaw, commented: "Everyone in the art world knows Hirst hasn't sold the skull. It is clearly just an elaborate ruse to drum up publicity and rewrite the book value of all his other work." If the sale did take place, For the Love of God would become the second-most expensive sculpture ever sold and would have fetched the highest price for a sculpture by a living artist.
2010 was a good year for record-breaking sculpture prices but it did not continue into 2011. Jeff Koons' porcelain Pink Panther was estimated to fetch a value of up to $30 million, but only achieved just over half that.
All the most expensive sculptures have been sold by one of two auction houses: Sotheby's and Christie's. Sotheby's has hosted the auctions of the two works that reached the highest price, one in London and the other in New York. Only three of the top ten have auctioned outside of New York; one in London and two in Paris.
The top ten highest value sculptures were made by seven different people, two of whom are unknown and will never be identified. An Alberto Giacometti sculpture is the most valuable modern work, and he has three more entries in the top ten. Four Constantin Brâncuși sculptures are featured on the list. Jeff Koons twice on the list. Although Pablo Picasso only appears once, he appears numerous times in the list of most expensive paintings.
Several buyers have chosen to remain anonymous, while others publicly celebrate their purchases.
Most expensive attributable sculpture by a female artist
Louise Bourgeois’ Spider is the most expensive sculpture made by a woman at $28.8 million.
List of highest prices paid
|Adjusted price (in millions US)||Original price (in millions US)||Sculpture||Image||Artist||Year||Date of sale||Seller||Buyer||Auction house||Refs|
|$149.4||$141.3||L'Homme au doigt||Alberto Giacometti||1947||11 May 2015||Sheldon Solow||Private collection||Christie's, New York|||
|$119.8||$104.3||L'Homme qui marche I||Alberto Giacometti||1961||3 February 2010||Commerzbank||Lily Safra||Sotheby's, London|||
|$106.9||$101.0||Chariot||Alberto Giacometti||1950||4 November 2014||Steven A. Cohen||Sotheby's, New York|||
|$71||$71||La jeune fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard)||Constantin Brâncuși||1928-
|15 May 2018||Elizabeth Stafford||Private
|Christie's, New York|||
|$68.4||$59.5||Tête||Amedeo Modigliani||1910–1912||14 June 2010||Gaston Levy||Private collection||Christie's, Paris|||
|$62.8||$58.4||Balloon Dog (Orange)[note 1]||Jeff Koons||1994–2000||12 November 2013||Private collection||Private collection||Christie's, New York|||
|$58||$57.3||La muse endormie||Constantin Brâncuși||1913||15 may 2017||Jacques Ulmann||Private
|Christie's, New York|||
|$69.1||$57.2||Guennol Lioness||Unknown||c.3000 BC||5 December 2007||Alastair Bradley Martin||Private collection||Sotheby's, New York|||
|$61.2||$53.3||Grande tête mince||Alberto Giacometti||1955||4 May 2010||Sidney F. Brody||Private collection||Christie's, New York|||
|$53.8||$50.0||Grand tête mince (Grand tête de Diego)||Alberto Giacometti||1955||6 November 2013||Private collection||Bill Acquavella||Sotheby's, New York|||
|$56.1||$48.8||Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV)||Henri Matisse||1958||3 November 2010||Private collection||Private collection||Christie's, New York|||
|$43.9||$37.6||Madame LR (Portrait de Mme LR)||Constantin Brâncuși||1914–17||24 February 2009||Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé||Private collection||Christie's, Paris|||
|$36.8||$33.7||Tulips||Jeff Koons||1995-2004||14 November 2012||Christie's, New York|
|$32.8||$31||Winged Genius||Unknown||c. 883 - 859 B.C.||31 October 2018||Virginia Theological Seminary||Private collection||Christie's, New York|||
|$32.8||$30.1||Reclining Figure: Festival||Henry Moore||1951||7 February 2012||Private collection||Private collection||Christie's, London|||
|$35.2||$29.1||Tete de femme (Dora Maar)||Pablo Picasso||1941||7 November 2007||Private collection||Franck Giraud||Sotheby's, New York|||
|$34.6||$28.6||Artemis and the Stag||Unknown||c.100 BC – 100 AD||7 June 2007||Albright-Knox Art Gallery||Private collection||Sotheby's, New York|||
|$29.1||$28.2||Spider||Louise Bourgeois||1996||10 November 2015||Christie's, New York|||
|$35.3||$27.5||Bird in Space||Constantin Brâncuși||1922–1923||5 May 2005||Private collection||Private collection||Christie's, New York|||